First a Colt, Faulk should next be a HOFer

It’s a loaded field that gets sorted out for Pro Football Hall of Fame slots Saturday in North Texas.

I expect Marshall Faulk to make it, and doing so out of this group will make the accomplishment all the more impressive.

While he’ll be remembered more for his work as a member of the St. Louis Rams, the running back from the Greatest Show on Turf who has a Super Bowl ring started out in Indianapolis -- he was the second overall pick in 1994 and went to three Pro Bowls in five seasons while wearing the horseshoe.

Note the chart for a look at how his stats broke down between the Colts and Rams.

After a contract dispute, he was traded for second, and fifth-round picks, and replaced by another first-round pick, Edgerrin James.

Keith Hawkins of ESPN Stats and Information gave me these Faulk nuggets:

  • Faulk’s the only player in NFL history with 12,000 rushing yards and 6,000 receiving yards.

  • The only players with more yards from scrimmage in NFL history than Faulk’s 19,154 are Jerry Rice (23,540), Emmitt Smith (21,579) and Walter Payton (21,264).

  • The only running back with more receptions than Faulk (767) in NFL history is Larry Centers (827)

  • He is one eight players in NFL history with 100 rushing touchdowns, and his 136 career TDs rank 7th all time.

  • Faulk and Earl Campbell are the only players to win the AP offensive player of the year award three times.

When I spoke this week to Derrick Brooks, who was a linebacker on the NFL’s most recent All-Decade Team, he spoke glowingly of Faulk.

“He’s a hall of fame player,” Brooks said. “He was one of my toughest matchups I ever had to face, with the ability to make plays in space, the ability to block -- that third-element of a tailback. His football IQ, his ability to dissect defenses from the running back position was second to none.

“I knew every time I lined up against him I had to bring my A game, and we had some classic battles. Hopefully he’ll get in. I know it’s a crowded field, but as someone who played against him, I do believe he’s a hall of fame talent and someone who’s deserving of it.”